Egypt convicts former auditor of spreading ‘false news’

Hisham Geneina said the charges against him were politically motivated
Hisham Geneina said the charges against him were politically motivated

{BBC NEWS} – Egypt’s former top auditor, who was sacked after alleging government corruption, has been given a prison sentence for spreading “false news”.

Hisham Geneina was fired in March by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi after estimating corruption had cost Egypt $67.6bn (£51.3bn) over four years.

He was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $2,200 but told he could avoid prison if he paid an additional $1,100, judicial sources said.

His lawyer said he would appeal.

Lawyer Ali Taha said prosecutors had failed to prove their accusations and said the case for the defence had not been examined. Reporters were not allowed to attend the sentencing at a Cairo court.

Geneina, a former judge, denied the charges and said they were politically motivated.

After firing Geneina, President Sisi appointed a fact-finding commission that concluded the auditor had over-estimated the scale of corruption. and thus misled the public.

The case was based on comments Geneina made to two Egyptian newspapers last December when he was still head of the Accountability State Authority (ASA).

The daily al-Youm al-Sabea quoted him as saying in an interview that endemic corruption had cost Egypt some 600bn Egyptian pounds ($67.6bn) in 2015 alone, mostly in corrupt land deals.

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About Cholo Brooks 13344 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.